Another week has come and gone, and we now have updated College Football Playoff rankings. Each week brings new questions and curiosities on the decisions that the committee has made.
For this week, it seems as if head-to-head matchups didn’t play as much of a role as in the initial ranking, so it’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out as the college football season winds down over the next few weeks.
This past weekend showed that other than the Georgia Bulldogs, no team really proved they were worthy of top placement in the rankings. Alabama struggled against an unranked LSU team in Tuscaloosa and if the Tigers had better quarterback play, may have pulled off the upset. Michigan State lost to a now-ranked Purdue team and now find themselves sitting in the seventh spot of the rankings.
Oregon held on for an ugly win over Washington, Cincinnati did the same against a Tulsa team, and Ohio State struggled against Nebraska on the road. Style points matter but when the majority of teams struggle on a weekend, it can be overlooked.
The biggest winner of this new ranking has to be the Cincinnati Bearcats because they simply moved up a spot. Despite the lack of impressive win against Tulsa at home, the committee decided to cut them a break for once.
The Bearcats control their own destiny as if they win out, they’ll likely be given a spot in the playoff because most of the other teams ahead of them close out the season with tough matchups. Now if the Bearcats can put some style onto some wins to close the season, it certainly wouldn’t hurt them at all. But this week’s ranking gives Cincinnati, and their fans hope after a disappointing initial ranking spot.
The decision to put Michigan State behind Michigan is a questionable one since the Spartans beat the Wolverines just a short time ago. However, by doing this, the committee showed that you simply can’t lose to an unranked team. Despite losing to Michigan State, the committee told us yesterday that the Wolverine’s loss to the Spartans is considered a “good” loss and they are being rewarded for not losing to an unranked team.
Purdue now sits at No. 19 in the rankings but when they beat Michigan State, they were unranked. Could Purdue throw another wrench into the playoff hopefuls’ chances? They play at Ohio State this weekend and after taking down both Iowa and Michigan State, I wouldn’t put it past them to win again.
Speaking of Ohio State, they still need to play both Michigan State and Michigan to round out their season and those few games will ultimately decide the Big Ten. While the Buckeyes are sitting at the No. 4 spot currently, one loss over the next few weeks and they are likely out of the playoff conversation.
The same goes for both the Spartans and Wolverines, both who still have ranked Penn State looming on their schedules. Personally, I think Ohio State is the best team in the Big Ten but the results remain to be seen. Also, don’t forget about the Wisconsin Badgers who have come on as of late and could play a factor in all this Big Ten mess with a potential chance to spoil a season in the Big Ten title game if they can make it there.
The last part of the rankings that I was intrigued with comes from the No. 10 and 11 ranked teams, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M. Both of which still have outside chances at making a playoff run if they can win out. Oklahoma State plays against a TCU team this weekend that just upset Baylor this past weekend and still has Oklahoma on their schedule.
The final regular-season game for both the Sooners and Cowboys in Stillwater could determine everything if both teams play their cards right. But over in the SEC, the Aggies have an outside chance of doing something due to their win against Auburn this past weekend.
They will need Alabama to lose another regular-season game and for them to win out and if this scenario happens, they will find themselves playing for a chance at the SEC Conference title against Georgia. Win that and the Aggies will most definitely be in the playoff when the final rankings come out. It looks to be a long-shot scenario but as we have seen this college season thus far, anything can happen.
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